According to the University of California Berkeley economics professor Barry Eichengreen, recent anti-racist revolt in the United States is in part an effect of coronavirus pandemic. As a matter of fact, the mobilization caused by the triggering death of George Floyd has also caused an excess of mortality rate in the black communities. COVID-19 has shown a lack of medical care in black communities.
After more than two weeks of major protests against police violence and racial injustices, the United States is witnessing a concerning rise in coronavirus cases. However, a question arises as to why now? Police brutality is nothing new, it is just getting more filmed now. Back in 2014, police killed Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York, who also had as of last words: “I can’t breathe”.
It is no coincidence that there is a high rate of black people in the service sector, where unemployment is taking its toll. It is no surprise that people without health insurance are 1.5 times higher among black than white communities. Finally, the mortality rate for COVID-19 is 2.4 times higher for black people. Already, without police brutality, the black community has been the most affected and segregated. The pandemic has just worsened the situation of black communities, to a point where there is no going back, to a point where there is only going onward, while demanding justice now and forever.